Chicken Liver and Onions Recipe

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This is a super simple chicken liver and onions recipe that is coming to you from my mother’s kitchen in Israel. 35 minutes to put together, delicious, and healthy!


If you are here, reading this post, I probably don’t need to convince you that chicken livers are delicious. I hope that you also know how healthy they are for you!

I am not sure where in American history eating organ meat stopped being a thing, but I’m pretty sure that back in the day organ meat was just as popular as chicken breast. Just like the gizzard and the heart, the liver is perfectly suitable for human consumption and it’s delicious.

Chicken Liver and Onions Recipe…

This chicken liver and onions recipe is a recipe that we grew up eating back in Israel, where, still to this day, organ meat is sold everywhere. I actually made this dish after butchering a couple of my meat chickens. You’ll also see the hearts in the pictures. I just added them in since they go very well with the livers but you can leave them out.

If you raise your own meat birds and butcher them (ducks, chickens, guineas, or turkeys) I want to encourage you to keep some of the organs and use them. If you aren’t raising your own meat birds, you can find chicken livers in most stores.

Why You Should Eat Chicken Livers…

  • They are healthy – livers are rich in protein, iron, and vitamin B, especially vitamins B-12 and B-9 (also known as folate which is important during periods of rapid growth). Livers are also rich in vitamin A which is linked to eye health.
  • They are cheap – a container of livers at the grocery store costs just over a dollar (where I live), add a couple of onions and a couple cups of rice or a few potatoes for a simple mash potatoes side and you have dinner for the whole family for maybe $10.
  • They are easy to make – this dish takes about 35 minutes to make! Even less if you are really good at dicing onions!

Ingredients…

  • Butter -salted or unsalted, it doesn’t matter.
  • Onions – white or yellow onions are best.
  • Chicken bullion – I use Knorr.
  • Paprika
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Fresh chicken livers

Kitchen Tools…

How to Make Chicken Liver and Onions…

Step one – prep the livers. Wash the livers (and hearts) and trim any fat if there is any. Set aside.

Step two – cook the onions. Dice a couple of large onions. Set your pan on the stovetop and turn the heat to medium-high. Add the butter and let it melt. When the butter has melted, add the diced onions. Stir them frequently to prevent them from burning. When the onions are nicely browned, add the seasonings and stir to combine. Next, add a cup of water and mix it all together. Let the water come to a boil.

Step three – cook the livers. Reduce the heat to medium and add the livers (and hearts if you are using any). Just lay them down in the pan gently. Don’t stir them in or move them because they’ll fall apart. Cover your pan and cook the livers for 10-15 minutes. The liquid will reduce and the whole dish will get this beautiful brown color! Turn the heat off and let the pan rest for a couple of minutes.

What to Serve With Chicken Liver and Onions…

  • Mashed potatoes – this is my favorite thing to serve with this dish. Place a serving of mashed potatoes on a plate and add the livers and onions on top of it with some of the sauce (try this mashed purple sweet potato dish if you happen to come by purple sweet potatoes).
  • On a puff pastry – cut a sheet of puff pastry into squares. Set them on a pan lined with parchment paper and brush them with melted butter. Bake them until they are ready. Add the livers and onions on top.
  • With bulgur – bulgur wheat is easy to cook and healthy. Serve the livers and onions on top.
  • With sweet potato fries.
  • With a baked potato.
  • With a side of rice or quinoa.

How to Store Liver and Onions…

  • In the fridge – if you have any leftovers, place them in an airtight container and place them in the fridge. The livers and onions should last 4-5 days and can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop.
  • In the freezer – if you want to store this dish for later you can place it in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to a year.

Frequently Asked Questions…

Can I make this dish with other kinds of liver?

You can make this dish with turkey liver or duck liver in the exact same way. I have never tried it with beef liver but I am guessing that the process should be very much the same.

Do I have to soak the Liver in milk?

Not chicken liver. It is common to soak beef liver in milk because it has a metallic taste that the milk can help get rid of, however, chicken liver doesn’t have that same taste to it so there is no need to soak it in milk.

Is it safe to eat chicken liver?

People have been eating chicken livers for thousands of years. It is safe and very healthy. If you are concerned and want to go by modern-time science, it is recommended to cook livers until their internal temperature is 165-170 degrees F. But I have to note here that I have never checked the internal temperature of the liver I cooked and I am still alive and well.

The liver is too gummy, why?

If the liver has a gummy, tough texture after you cook it it’s probably because you cooked it for too long. It is very important that you don’t overcook liver or it just becomes a not-so-fun-to-it piece of meat. It should be creamy and soft, literally melting in your mouth.

Can I substitute the butter with oil?

Yes, feel free to use canola oil or vegetable oil. You can also try tallow or lard.


I know that chicken livers aren’t the most popular cut of meat in the US but I sure hope that you’ll give this chicken liver and onions recipe a try. It is delicious, very healthy, and a very affordable meal for the whole family.

More Delicious Recipes…

chicken liver and onions ready for serving

Chicken Liver and Onions Recipe

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Healthy and delicious chicken liver and onion recipe.

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • Salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 teaspoon chicken bullion
  • 2 teaspoon paprika (sweet or spicy, whatever you like...)
  • Black pepper to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 cup water
  • 8-10 livers. Washed and fat trimmed, if there is any.

Instructions

  1. Set your pan on the stovetop and turn the heat to medium-high. Add the butter and let it melt. When the butter has melted, add the diced onions. Stir them frequently to prevent them from burning. When the onions are nicely browned, add the seasonings and stir to combine. Next, add a cup of water and mix it all together. Let the water come to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the livers. Just lay them down in the pan. Don’t stir them in or move them because they’ll fall apart. Cover your pan and cook the livers for 10-15 minutes. The liquid will reduce and the whole dish will get this beautiful brown color! Turn the heat off and let the pan rest for a couple of minutes.

Notes

Frequently Asked Questions...

    1. Can I make this dish with other kinds of liver?
      You can make this dish with turkey liver or duck liver in the exact same way. I have never tried it with beef liver but I am guessing that the process should be very much the same.
    2. Do I have to soak the Liver in milk?
      Not chicken liver. It is common to soak beef liver in milk because it has a metallic taste that the milk can help get rid of, however, chicken liver doesn’t have that same taste to it so there is no need to soak it in milk.
    3. Is it safe to eat chicken liver?
      People have been eating chicken livers for thousands of years. It is safe and very healthy. If you are concerned and want to go by modern-time science, it is recommended to cook livers until their internal temperature is 165-170 degrees F. But I have to note here that I have never checked the internal temperature of the liver I cooked and I am still alive and well.
    4. The liver is too gummy, why?
      If the liver has a gummy, tough texture after you cook it it’s probably because you cooked it for too long. It is very important that you don’t overcook liver or it just becomes a not-so-fun-to-it piece of meat. It should be creamy and soft, literally melting in your mouth.
    5. Can I substitute the butter with oil?
      Yes, feel free to use canola oil or vegetable oil. You can also try tallow or lard.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 372Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 666mgSodium: 374mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 29g

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